Wednesday, November 9, 2016

An Interesting Anecdote About Teacher Training

I have a friend who is working toward a teaching credential at a well-respected university and so is doing his Student Teaching.  Recently he was told by his supervising professor from the college (after only observing a small portion of one class period) that he talks too much and should really just give the kids more reading assignments.

This really upset and confused my friend because he likes to give lectures and engage the students in discussion as he goes and was very proud of the PowerPoint presentations he had come up with.

(He could write a whole essay himself as to why he thinks engaging lectures > textbook reading assignments and worksheets.  But I feel it's fairly obvious and will leave that for another day.)

A week later, he was assigned a different supervisor.  When this new professor observed his class (on a day he decided to give a reading assignment, as he was told he should), she was concerned with what she saw.  She asked if he often gave mindless reading assignments with worksheets, because clearly that was a bad idea and not something that should be done frequently.

A few weeks after that, he mentioned to this supervisor about the progress he was making on his PACT.  (PACT is a big huge project that must be submitted to determine if one has earned a teaching credential.  Lawyers take the bar exam, teachers submit a PACT.)  Her response was, "What's PACT?" Record scratch.  Jaw dropped.  Head desk.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions about what these sorts of exchanges say about the state of public education (and how we educate our educators) in America today.  It sure is fascinating to hear about it from this unique perspective!

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